Justice Devan Ramachandran asked how the restaurant operators got the courage to dump their waste into the drains. The court also asked whether any action has been taken against a restaurant that blocked off a drain to prevent water from entering its premises.
The court criticized the practice of restaurants after an amicus curiae appointed by the court submitted that the flow of water through the drains along the MG Road are blocked at various points by plastic and even by placing sandbags. Desilting of the drains have only been completed partially and the waterlogging will not be solved completely unless the desilting is fully completed, the court was told. Responding to the submission, the court said the Ernakulam district collector and other authorities should launch adequate action without waiting for orders from the court. The court also said action should be taken against those who dump waste into drains for violating the court’s order.
The court also reminded that the committee headed by the district collector has sufficient powers to take action to prevent waterlogging and the committee should act. If adequate action is not taken, the court may have to summon the district collector, the bench warned.
Through an earlier order, issued on September 16, the court had directed for forming of a committee to take action to prevent waterlogging and flooding in the city. The committee headed by the district collector consists of officials representing the Kochi Corporation, Cochin Metro Rail Ltd, CSML, KWA, Southern Railway, and the superintending engineer of the Minor Irrigation Department who heads the Operation Breakthrough team.
Further, the court asked the state government to clarify whether it is the Kochi Corporation or the Public Works Department that has to take action to rebuild the drains on MG Road.
53 stop memos issued so far:
Meanwhile, following the HC’s directive earlier this month, the corporation has issued temporary stop memos to 53 hotels and restaurants in the city so far. The stop memos have been issued to the ones which do not even have soak pits to treat effluents. While 11 stop memos were served initially, the remaining 42 were issued on Thursday and Friday.The corporation, meanwhile, is conducting a comprehensive survey to identify flooding spots in the city and also the agency that constructed the drainage in that particular area. A report in this regard will be submitted to the collector in two weeks.